Monday, March 31, 2014

The 21st Century Woman in Fashion

As we say goodbye to March - Women's History Month - I'd like to say CHEERS to all women.

``I want to empower women; I want people to be afraid of the women I dress``
Alexander McQueen 

Women are by far the best things on this planet to monitor. They've been through extreme change and progress in more than one way. Not just the way they walk and talk but the way they started this evolution of breaking free and giving the word 'woman' a new meaning, that we can all be proud of. At a time where the only place that was available to them was a submissive one. There were times that no woman would speak up, let alone give her opinion. Now we live in a world where it is harder to be silenced as a woman, because the women before us let us know that we have a voice. And we can be useful by speaking up! Like the woman who let us know that women make 70 cents when a man makes $1 when they're in the same position.

One of the ways you can follow the progress and/or change of women throughout decades is through Fashion. It's both trendsetting and future-guessing, designers have to be in and they have to bring new stuff to the table. If you want to know women and their changes you can follow it through design - especially Fashion. Yes, designers design what they want but one thing they keep in mind is their customers. And who needs schools if there are no students?

Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany´s - James Dean as Jim Stark in Rebel Without a Cause

Fashion is so time appointed that a style can signify a time in history and every trend comes back. Like the LBD (Little Black Dress) that made Audrey Hepburn's character Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany's a style icon. BaT came out in 1961 and there were LBD's before that, but her character made it look classy and chic and it stuck and became a trend - the plain LBD. Now, it's a trend to wear an LBD with as little as possible detail to accessorize it with bright pumps or a bright clutch. Fashion can also create a character, like James Dean's character Jim Stark looked more edgy, tough and rebellious in his washed out jeans and leather jacket in Rebel Without a Cause. This trend also stuck as a characteristic. Ryan Gosling´s characters in The Place Beyond the Pines and Driver both used this look to create a `bad boy`look. Both Audrey's and James' characters became a trend and a time in history where women wear an LBD to look classy and chic and men wore jeans and leather to look manlier.
``one is never over/dressed or under-dressed with a little black dress`` 
Karl Lagefeld
LBD´s: Sophia Bush - Solange - Beyonce - Rachel Bilson in Chanel - Leighton Meester in Chanel
All over the world women are stepping into the business bubble and they're making a name for themselves. The start of the women wearing a suit trend. It can't be missed in a collection these days - so much that there are coming more and more versions of it. Diane Keaton is famous for her suits on the red carpet, but more remarkable is her character J.C.'s style in Baby Boom (1987).

Diane Keaton in a suit

Then came the women working and taking care of the children lifestyle, which introduced the cocktail dress - a semi-formal dress, introduced by Christian Dior in the '40s, that's both appropriate for work and for maybe going to get a drink after work or going to a parent teacher meeting. Women were starting to seek for clothes that were appropriate for more than one event, because they started to keep themselves busy. Designers had to be clever to make pieces that were both formal and a bit out going, so not a lot of skin but a bit of color and detail.

Cocktail dresses: Beyonce in Antonio Berardi - Solange in D&G - Leighton Meester in Giambattista Valli - Sophia Bush - Rachel Bilson in Preen
The women wearing a suit trend basically never stopped but it soon let to different versions of the standard suit. As a designer in the 21st century you can´t really work your way around a suit, it´s too eye-catching and wanted that it just pushes you to come up with new ideas to wear a suit. They have shorts, printed, baggy, tomboy, preppy suits and so on. All prove that Fashion is sensitive to women's changing patterns even throughout a short amount of time.

Amanda Seyfried in colorful shorts suit - Cara Delevingne in colorful deep V suit and baggy suit - Solange in print skirt suit - Emma Roberts in printed suit

I mean...
The 21st century woman wants to be comfortable and trendy.
The 21st century woman wants to feel bold, beautiful and sexy.
The 21st century woman is independent and professional.
The 21st century woman wants clothes that are multi-functional.

So, all of these characteristics and patterns of the 21st century women make the trends of now and many more years to come. We're making progress and things will surely change...just watch the Fashion trends!
Much Love,

I dedicate this article to my sister and all *feminists - you make this world a better place and you're my inspiration.

*feminist: a person who believes in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes.